Top congressional Democrats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer head to the White House Wednesday morning to meet with President Donald Trump for a second round of talks on President Donald Trump’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
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While a previous meeting ended with both sides saying they were looking for common ground, Trump raises tensions Tuesday night with a letter sent to Pelosi and Schumer saying he wants Congress to first take up the proposed USMCA trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
"Once Congress has passed USMCA, we should turn our attention to a bipartisan infrastructure package," Trump said.
Before Trump's letter, Pelosi and Schumer put out a statement outlining their objectives.
“In our conversations with the President, Democrats will continue to insist on our principles: that any plan we support be big, bold and bipartisan; that it be comprehensive, future-focused, green and resilient; and that it be a jobs and ownership-boost with strong Buy America, labor, and women, veteran and minority-owned business protections,” they said in a joint statement.
This temporary truce is in sharp contrast to previous acrimonious showdowns but it comes amid the bitterly-disputed question of impeachment as Pelosi will be fresh from a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning to deal with growing pressure from Democrats to move forward with an impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi and Schumer first met with Trump on infrastructure three weeks ago in a meeting that they called “constructive” and first announced a tentative plan to spend $2 trillion to tackle U.S. infrastructure in a “big and bold way.” Pelosi and Schumer said they are looking forward to hearing from the president on how he plans to pay for this infrastructure package in Wednesday's meeting.
However, Trump expressed concern in a Fox News interview Sunday, saying he thought the White House was "being played by the Democrats a little bit.”
“You know, I think what they want me to do is say, 'Well, what we'll do is raise taxes,' and we'll do this and this and this, and then they'll have a news conference, see, 'Trump wants to raise taxes," Trump said.